Purim is a Jewish holiday and tradition which is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month Adar, which usually falls in March.

Location: Nation wide

Trekantiga kakor, paljetter, karnevalmasker och skramlor med texten "Happy Purim".

It is celebrated in memory of when Queen Esther, who was Jewish, saved Jews in Persia. The story is retold in the Book of Esther in the bible. The word Purim means "lots" and comes from the King's Grand Vizier Haman, who was thought to draw lots on which day the Jews would be exterminated from Persia. However Esther revealed Haman's plans and he was hung. The day before Purim people fast and read from the Book of Esther in the synagogue in the evening and in the morning. When Haman's name is read people shake rattles to make noise so that they do not hear his name mentioned. During Purim people get dressed up, exchange gifts of food and drink, give money to the poor and eat a shared feast. Strong drinks are also served with the meal.

Knowledge is transferred mainly by taking part in the feast, but also by teaching Jewish traditions and through international websites. The Swedish Jewish congregations informs about Jewish holidays and its members are invited to the actual festivities. There are also several smaller associations around the country which are open to students and others who are not members of a congregation. There are also private Purim celebrations.

Karnevalståg med utklädda barn som dansar.

Purim in Israel. Photo: Veronika Kogan/Mostphotos.